Dr. Reginald Chhen Stewart is Iowa State University’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI) and holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Education. The VPDI serves as Iowa State University’s executive level diversity and inclusion strategist reporting directly to the President and supporting all functions of the university by utilizing the matrix leadership model.
In 2019, he marks his 30th year as a staunch advocate for access and opportunity in U.S. Higher Education at both public and private institutions with enrollments ranging from 650 students to over 36,000 students. Over the last three decades, he has provided support and leadership for a broad spectrum of inclusion initiatives encompassing accessibility services, income-eligible academic support programs, equal opportunity and Title IX compliance efforts, intercultural affairs, women’s and gender equity programs, LGBTQIA youth empowerment, faculty/staff-focused resource groups and town & gown diversity partnerships.
Dr. Stewart has received recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the College Board, Excelencia in Education, the NAACP, the Nevada System of Higher Education and the Ames Chamber of Commerce. His TEDx Talk, Cultural (il)Literacy: What Modern America Needs to Know is widely used as a teaching tool in both corporate and educational settings. In 2019, Dr. Stewart was recognized with the Ames Humanitarian Award.
A first generation college graduate, his most influential educational experiences include learning history from Mr. Calderwood at Bishop O’ Dowd High School, affirming that education is a right and not a privilege from the faculty at San Francisco State University and embracing that complex problems are best solved using diverse perspectives from his executive education classmates at the Harvard Kennedy School. Courses he has developed and taught include: Diversity Leadership in Higher Education, Philosophy of Education (Ethics), Multicultural Counseling and Education for a Changing World.
The married father of two is a fan of all forms of acoustic instrumental music, and he enjoys supporting his children as they develop their musicianship on both strings and woodwinds.